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Will Brooks felt ‘a little bitter’ after Chandler’s win over Hooker: ‘I know I can beat these guys’

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UFC flop Will Brooks believes he can still hang with the top contenders at 155-pounds.

UFC 210: Will Brooks v Charles Oliveira
Will Brooks at UFC 210, where he fought Charles Oliveira.
Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

Seeing Michael Chandler excel in his UFC debut last month against Dan Hooker was a tough watch for Will Brooks.

Brooks (20-5-1) is the only man to hold two victories over Chandler, defeating him twice in 2014 to capture the interim and undisputed Bellator lightweight titles. Sadly for Brooks, he couldn’t quite mimic the success he achieved in Bellator once signing for the UFC in 2016.

A decision win in his debut would be overclouded by three consecutive stoppage losses to Alex Oliveria, Charles Oliveira and Nik Lentz. The UFC subsequently released Brooks after just four fights. Talking recently on MMA Fighting’s What the Heck, Brooks praised Chandler for his recent win but admitted it made him quite bitter.

“Whatever, he’s had success, and hey man, best of luck to him, keep doing your thing, but I tell you what, as a competitor it gets you fired up,” Brooks said. “You get a little angry, you get a little bitter, you get a little pissy taste in your mouth because I’d beat any of those guys.

“Especially, you look at a guy like these Dan Hookers that he knocks out, and blah blah blah, as a competitor you’re like, ‘Yo, you just got knocked out by a ‘45er and then you beat up some old man Ben Henderson,’ and you come in and I get pissed at Dan Hooker because I’m like, ‘Yo, that guy’s not hard to beat. He’s not hard to beat.’ I’m sounding like a jerk now, but as a competitor, that’s where I’m at. It lights a fire.”

After his UFC release, Brooks signed for PFL and fought three times for the promotion going 2-1. The 34-year-old last fought against Gleison Tibau in 2019 in Battlefield FC, losing by first-round submission. Despite the career slump Brooks has faced, he remains adamant he could beat top UFC lightweights such as Chandler and Hooker.

“So I’ll tell you what, when I saw that happen, I jumped up off the couch and I was gassed up. I can beat these guys, I know I can beat these guys. I can jump up off my couch right now and beat Chandler and beat Dan Hooker and beat these guys, but I’m not in a position to say that.

“I can’t get on media and say that, I can’t get on social media and say that, because right now I am Mr. Irrelevant in MMA. So it’s one of those things where you look at it like, well I gotta get to work. Right now I’m trying to get to work, and maybe God puts it in my position where I can get back to the UFC and I can get back some of those wins that I left.”